K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies

 

The Advisory Committee established by the Ministry of Education on October 5, 2021, has completed a final draft version of a set of guidelines to support boards and independent school authorities who may be considering implementing a vaccine mandate for staff.

For clarity, these guidelines are for policies being contemplated for employees only, which should be interpreted broadly to include any employee of the board or authority, including contracted employees, regardless of classification or location.  The Ministry of Education fully respects the authority of individual First Nations to make decisions about the operation of First Nations schools in the best interests of their students, schools, and communities.

To view and/or familiarize yourself with these guidelines in advance of the final copy being distributed as soon as possible, please access the following link:

K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies

 

Importance of FSA

 

What is FSA?

From October 4 to November 12, 2021, our students in grades 4 and 7 will be participating in the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA).  This is an annual province-wide assessment of all B.C. students’ academic skills in grades 4 and 7, and provides parents, teachers, schools, school districts and the Ministry of Education with important information on how well students are progressing in the foundation skills of Literacy and Numeracy.

Why is the FSA important? 
To ensure that we continue to support successful learning, we routinely check our students’ growth and achievement.  The FSA assesses basic knowledge and skills in literacy and numeracy.  The FSA provides a systems level accountability check to ensure that we are delivering aligned learning experiences for all.

Coast Mountains School District 82 (CMSD82) would like you to know that we believe the FSA provides us with valuable information.  We use this assessment to inform our instruction, in-service, and our resource allocation for the betterment of student learning.

Facts?

  • FSA reflects B.C.’s redesigned curriculum.
  • FSA will be administered during the period of October 4 to November 12, 2021.
  • FSA is a set of interactive activities drawn from the provincial curriculum: a) Literacy (understanding and communicating with language); b) Numeracy (understanding and working with numbers).
  • There is an online section and a hand-written section.
  • FSA includes a group collaboration activity, a choice of reading themes and a self-reflection section.
  • FSA scores are not letter grades or percentages; they do not count toward students’ report card marks or promotion.
  • The handwritten section of your child’s FSA is scored in Coast Mountains School District, by CMSD82 educators.

How Can Parents Help?

  • Talk to your child about the FSA.  Explain why we complete it and cheer them on.  This is a chance for CMSD82 students to show what they know!
  • Ensure your child gets lots of rest and good nutrition.
  • Read through the information and help your child try the sample questions available at the BC Ministry of Education’s website on Foundation Skills Assessment (click on link to open).

Parents and caregivers should contact their School Principal if they have any questions or they require additional information.

 

 

Superintendent Letter to Parents, Guardians & Caregivers – K-12 Mask Mandate Announcement

Dear CMSD82 Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

Earlier today, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside announced a Kindergarten to Grade 12 mask mandate for all schools in B.C.  Beginning Monday, October 4, all students in Coast Mountains School District 82 (CMSD82) will be required to wear non-medical face masks while indoors, including at their desks and on school buses. Masks will be available for students that may not have their own.

As always, students will not be required to wear a mask if they are unable to for health or behavioural reasons.  A full list of exemptions can be found on the B.C. Ministry COVID-19 Safe Schools website.  School personnel will ensure that students exempt from wearing a mask are supported.

Today’s new order was developed under the guidance and direction of the Public Health Officer (PHO) and B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), in consultation with education partners, as an extra measure of protection to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The health, safety, and well-being of students and staff, continues to be a top priority for our School District.  This expanded mask mandate will provide an additional layer of protection to CMSD82 schools in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.

Earlier this week, the PHO announced an updated exposure notification process.  Individuals who are directly affected by an exposure will be contacted directly – there will not be a school-wide announcement following each exposure.  You will find all potential exposures listed on the Northern Health website.

Finally, vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools and everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 Ongoing health and safety measures for all students and staff:

  • Complete the Daily Health Checklist before coming to school.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • All Kindergarten to Grade 12 staff and students must wear masks while indoors, including at their desks and on school buses.
  • Focus on washing or sanitizing hands.
  • Continued monitoring and enhancing building ventilation.
  • Continued cleaning and disinfecting.

Helpful links to more information by accessing the following links:

Ensuring a safe, healthy, and supportive learning environment is a priority for our School District.  Should you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your School Principal.  If you have specific questions related to COVID-19, please forward your questions to covid@cmsd.bc.ca which comes directly to my email inbox.

Please stay safe and check in with us regularly on our website at www.cmsd.bc.ca or Twitter @CoastMtnSD.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Meyer, Superintendent of Schools

Letter in PDF Format:

CMSD82 Letter to Parents-Guardians from Superintendent Meyer, K-12 Mask Mandate – Oct. 1, 2021

 

BC Government Expands Health and Safety Measures for K-12 Students

 

The Provincial government updated its K-12 education health and safety guidelines to require masks for kindergarten to Grade 3 students.

Earlier today, Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced updates to the Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools and the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings to require masks for kindergarten to Grade 3 students.

Beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, all students in B.C. schools will be required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks and on buses.  This builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in grades 4 to 12.

As always, students will not be required to wear a mask if they are unable to for health or behavioural reasons.  A full list of exemptions can be found on the B.C. Ministry of Health website.  School personnel will ensure that students exempt from wearing a mask are supported.

Parents/guardians should contact their School Principal if they have questions or they require further information.

 

 

Superintendent’s Letter to Parents, Guardians & Caregivers – Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!

 

CMSD82 Superintendent’s Letter to Parents-Guardians, Welcome to 2021-22 School Year

 

Dear CMSD82 Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year!  I hope this letter finds you and your family happy, rested and eagerly anticipating a positive and engaging school year.  Your children will be welcomed into our schools on September 7 regardless of where they are at academically, physically, socially and/or emotionally.

With greater community protection against COVID-19, schools can return to closer to normal operations, with some prevention measures continuing to be in place to keep schools as lower risk settings for communicable disease transmission.  While COVID-19 is present in our communities, there will continue to be COVID-19 exposures in schools and cases amongst students and staff.  Because cases in schools reflect those in the community, these are more likely to occur in communities with lower vaccination uptake.  Children continue to be a low risk for serious outcomes from COVID-19, including variants of concern detected in BC.

For your information, we take this opportunity to share links to the Ministry of Education Return to School Announcement of August 24 and the updated COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for K-12 Schools.

Together, we can make 2021-2022 a safe and productive year.  We will be asking for your support in this regard.  You can do your part by:

  • Getting vaccinated;
  • Conducting the daily health check for your children prior to sending them to school;
  • Keeping your children home when they are sick;
  • Following the requirement for all students in Grades 4 to 12 to wear a mask while indoors, including at their desk and on school busses, and encouraging Kindergarten to Grade 3 students to wear a mask.

Coast Mountains School District 82 and its individual schools have developed Communicable Disease Prevention Plans.  These plans outline safety procedures to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.  These school plans will be posted to the school district’s website at www.cmsd.bc.ca and to school websites in the coming week.

On June 3, 2021 the federal government announced that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be observed by federal government employees and by federally regulated workplaces every year starting on September 30, 2021.

The BC provincial government also recognized the importance of honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  All provincial public sector employers, which includes public school districts, will recognize September 30, 2021, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a holiday for staff and students.  The 2021-2022 District School Calendar has been amended in accordance to the School Act and the revised School Calendar Regulations as directed by the Ministry of Education.  Students will receive copies of the amended calendar during the first week of school.

Coast Mountains School District 82 will support all learners to achieve their individual success while inspiring a passion for lifelong learning.   We value:

  • student engagement;
  • an appreciation for culture and diversity;
  • respectful and meaningful relationships;
  • a welcoming, safe and caring community;
  • the vital importance of well-being.

Our priorities include:

  • individual students realizing their potential;
  • honouring and respecting culture and diversity;
  • well-being within the educational community.

We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you and our school communities during the 2021-2022 school year.  We will continue to provide families with updates as new information becomes available.

A special thank-you is extended to all staff in School District 82 who are committed to ensuring a safe and caring learning experience for all our students.

We look forward to welcoming your children to the 2021-2022 school year in Coast Mountains School District.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Meyer, Superintendent of Schools

 

 

2021-2022 CMSD82 Registration Procedures for Kindergarten

 

CMSD82 2021-2022 Kindergarten Registration Procedures Notice  (click on link to open)

In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, the Board of Education is seeking the cooperation of parents/guardians in registering their child for kindergarten.  Pre-registration is requested in order to provide the School District Administration the time to plan staffing to meet school needs.

 It is important that parents/guardians take note of the specific deadlines and ensure registration procedures are followed as outlined below:

REGISTRATION FOR KINDERGARTEN WILL BE HELD
BETWEEN JANUARY 15, 2021 AND FEBRUARY 26, 2021

Registration options for Kindergarten and Cross Boundary Applications:

 

1)  Complete the online registration through MyEducationBC  click on link, when the log-in screen opens, request an account (as illustrated to the right) and follow the step-by-step instructions (this is the school district’s preferred registration option), or

2)  Download a copy of the Student Registration Form (regular format or fillable format, click on the desired link to open document), complete and submit by “appointment only” or by email to the school of choice, or

3)  Contact your in-catchment school or school of choice to make an appointment to receive the registration forms.

Note:  For school and/or contact information, please access the following links:

CMSD82 Schools & Contact Information

CMSD82 2020-2021 School Principals, Vice Principals & School Contact Listing

Kindergarten Registration and Confirmation:  Registrations will be received by February 26, 2021 for Kindergarten.  Applications received after this date will have to wait until school staffing is complete before receiving status of school enrollment.  Wait-listed in-catchment students may be moved as soon as space is available.  Wait-listed in-catchment students will be notified of their status for the school year as soon as possible or by the first Friday following school opening.

Cross Boundary Applications:  Applications received by February 26, 2021 will receive confirmation by April 1, 2021.  Applications received after February 26, 2021 will be confirmed by the first Friday following school opening, or as soon as possible following this date, pending staffing allocations and school configurations. Unsuccessful applicants may be held on a waiting list for the subsequent school years.

To be eligible for entry to school in September 2021 students must be five years of age on or before December 31, 2021.  A birth certificate, proof of immunization, a BC Care Card and parent/guardian proof of ordinarily resident will be required at the time of registration.

Acceptable documentation for evidence that parent/guardian is “ordinarily resident”:

  • BCMSP (BC CareCard) coverage AND one item from the list of supporting documentation that follows; or
  • Valid BC Services Card (replacement for BC CareCard) AND one item from the list of supporting documentation that follows

Supporting documentation for evidence that parent/guardian is “ordinarily resident” (address must match the address listed on the Student’s Registration & Verification Form):

  • Provincial Driver’s License
  • Document indicating British Columbia resident (i.e. utility bill)
  • Proof of ownership of a dwelling or long-term lease or rental of a dwelling
  • A current income tax return filed as a BC resident

French Immersion Kindergarten and Grade One:

  • A student does not have to be of French origin to enrol in French Immersion.
  • Registration for French Immersion Kindergarten and Grade One takes place at Ecole Mountainview, Kildala Elementary School and Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School.
  • Registration for French Immersion Grade One is for students presently attending Kindergarten in English, who would like to begin in the French Immersion Program.

Should you require further assistance, please contact Carole Gagnon, Executive Assistant at the Coast Mountains Board of Education Office at (250) 638-4401 or via email at carole.gagnon@cmsd.bc.ca.

 

The Family Summer Literacy Boost … We Will Be Ready For September!

Coast Mountains School District 82 is pleased to provide the opportunity to the families of Bear Valley, Kildala Elementary, Kitwanga Elementary and Suwilaawks Community Schools with “free access” to the Summer Reading Boost Program.  School District 82 purchased licenses for these schools to access this program featuring Dr. Janet Mort and the Joyful Literacy Teacher Team.  The Summer Reading Boost Program was created in partnership with SD 91 (Nechako Lakes) due to the growing concern with the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on early learners … with summer looming, they knew for many struggling children the gaps will continue to grow.

This home-based program comprises 10 videos (video titles provided below) that instructs parents how to teach and practice Foundational Skills (K to 3).  Each video is supported with a handout package of over 100 games, activities, read-aloud strategies and checklists from Janet Mort’s new book “Parent Power: You can teach your child to read!”  All games and activities are designed to be productive, playful and fun for the whole family. We invite parents/guardians to use the program all summer long and throughout the next school year.

This series of ten 20-minute videos can be easily streamed online by parents for playful practice activities with important Foundational Skills all summer long.  You can also download the videos for offline viewing.  Each video is accompanied by a package of handouts that include instructions, games and activities for each video topic.
Video Titles include (package handouts for each video provided below):

  • Alphabet Crazy Fun 1: My Family Teaches Me My ABC’s
  • Alphabet Crazy Fun 2: Games, Practice and Celebrations
  • Phonemic Play 1: Learning to read in the dark?
  • Phonemic Play 2: Tricking Our Ears!
  • Superpower Sight Words 1: One Two Three – READ!!!
  • Superpower Sight Words 2: Practice, Play and Performance
  • Come-alive Reading: It’s party-time reading in my home.
  • Echo and Repeated Reading: I read just like you.
  • Reading Buddies: Teaching Me, Loving Me and Reading with Me
  • Writing Buddies: My Pen, Your Pen, Our Pen

How to Access the Video Series:

  1. Click on the “Video Showcase Link” provided below.
  2. Enter the password provided below in the “Enter Password” box and click the “Submit” button.
  3. You will now have access to stream the video series online, or download individual videos to view them offline (see instructions below).

Video Showcase Link:

Password:

  • s78WRm36kD

Package Handouts with Instructions, Games and Activities for each Video Topic:

Questions about the Parent Power Summer Literacy Boost?  Contact joyfulliteracy2020@shaw.ca.

Managing Stress related to COVID-19


News and information about the spread of COVID-19 around the world is coming at us quickly.  It can be hard to keep up and if you are keeping up on the latest, it can be even harder to remain calm given all that is going on. 

Access the following link to view the resource from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions for tips and information to help with stress management.

Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Useful Links:

 

 

 

Tips and Resources for Talking to your Kids or Students about COVID-19


During this time, it is understandable for children to have questions or express concern about the COVID-19 virus.  As parents, teachers or caregivers, it is important to stay informed and communicate in age-appropriate ways that address children’s questions and helps them take steps to keep themselves and others healthy.

Here are some tips and resources to help:

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about it: Convey the facts and set an emotionally reassuring tone.
  • Be age-appropriate: Teens can process and handle a higher level of detail than five year olds. Focus on answering your child/student’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly; it’s okay if you can’t answer everything.
  • Follow their lead: Invite your child or student to ask questions and share their perspective: Invite them to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus and express how they feel.
  • Check yourself: Feeling anxious?  Take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
  • Focus on actions you can take: Emphasize safety precautions everyone can take to help keep themselves and others healthy: good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, social distancing and staying home if you aren’t feeling well.
  • Stick to routine: Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
  • Keep talking: Tell kids/students you will keep them updated as you learn more.  Let them know the lines of communication are going to be open and as you learn more, you will share the information with them, too.

Resources:

BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

 

The provincial government has released a self-assessment tool (click on link to open) that can be accessed by the public amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The free, online tool, was made available on Monday, March 16 and tells users if they, or someone they know, requires further testing.

This self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.  You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

People with respiratory symptoms who are:

  • Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
  • Health Care Workers
  • Residents of long term care facilities
  • Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak

Who does not need to be tested for COVID-19?

  • People without symptoms
  • Patients with mild respiratory symptoms who can be managed at home, including returning travellers with an onset of illness within 14 days of return to Canada

The BC Ministry of Health strongly urges anyone who has symptoms – including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing – to self-isolate for 14 days.  To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about 2 metres from others. For more information on COVID-19, refer to HealthLink BC’s COVID-19 website.  Last updated: 3/16/2020 11:00 pm PDT

The province has created a phone service to provide non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 am – 8 pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300.